A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. In most cases a cyst on the ovary does no harm and goes away by itself. Most women have them sometime during their lives. Cysts are rarely cancerous in women under 50. Cysts sometimes hurt - but not always. Often, a woman finds out about a cyst when she has a pelvic exam.
If you're in your childbearing years or past menopause, have no symptoms, and have a fluid-filled cyst, you may choose to monitor the cyst. You may need surgery if you have pain, are past menopause or if the cyst does not go away. Birth control pills can help prevent new cysts.
A health problem that may involve ovarian cysts is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS can have high levels of male hormones, irregular or no periods and small ovarian cysts.
Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
- Culdocentesis Available in Spanish
- DHEA-sulfate test Available in Spanish
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) blood test Available in Spanish
- Ovarian Cyst (American Academy of Family Physicians) Available in Spanish
- Ovarian Cysts (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Available in Spanish
- Ovarian Cysts (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Ovarian Cysts and Fertility: Is There a Connection? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Ovarian Cysts FAQ (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) - PDF Available in Spanish
- Pelvic laparoscopy Available in Spanish
- Pelvic laparoscopy - slideshow Available in Spanish
- Pelvis MRI scan Available in Spanish
- Transvaginal ultrasound Available in Spanish
- Ultrasound -- Pelvis (Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology) Available in Spanish
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Ovarian Cysts (National Institutes of Health)